What is SSL? – Secure Sockets Layer

Secure socket layer (SSL) is the standard security protocol used on the internet. Millions of websites and companies use the technology to create a secure environment for their customers. SSL creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitors’ web browser allowing for private information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, data tampering, or message forgery.

How does SSL work?

On an unsecured connection, data is transmitted in its raw form. Anyone who intercepts the data can easily read it and alter it. To keep credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information safe, SSL is used to encrypt that data sent over the internet. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.

What happens behind the scenes?

Step 1: SSL Handshake Request

A browser sends a request for a secure connection with a website server. Once the request is received, the website server sends its SSL certificate and a public key to the browser.

Step 2: Session Key Generation

Once the browser verifies that the SSL certificate is valid, it’ll use the public key to encrypt a 256-bit session key. The browser then sends the encrypted session key back to the server.

Step 3: Secure connection

Once the browser and server each have a copy of the session key, a secure connection is established. Any data transmitted will be encrypted beforehand and can only be decrypted by the other party’s key.

Different levels of SSL Certificates

There are different levels of SSL Certificates available with varying levels of security and features available.

A EasyTrust SSL certificate is verified by email and can be issued within 15 minutes, with warranty up to $10,000.

Premium SSL certificates are verified by domain/organisation records and can require DUNS (Dun & Bradstreet – Business Records) or other documentation to verify business ownership.
Premium certificates issued in 1-3 days and provide warranty up to $100,000.

We recommend an Easytrust SSL certificate with all our websites.

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